Grace McConnell, junior at Baldwin Wallace University with a major in Studio Art and a minor in English, explains her time being a part of a creative community. She describes the BW Arts House and the different events and resources it offers to students.
McConnell is currently a scenic painter at the BW scene shop, is the Vice President of Art Attack, and also resides in the BW Arts House located on 372 Front street.
“I love Art in every form there is. I played music when I was a child and have had a love of theater since I was three. However, the fine arts is my constant, it is my primary art form. I am also passionate about writing and organizing my thoughts on paper,” McConnell said.
McConnell explains her transition to the arts community at BW.
“I started out as an Art Education major and upon coming to BW, I immediately applied for scenic painting at the shop, my mentor at the time was a theater major and I found myself falling into a creative crowd and became involved with all these creative and talented people at BW.”
McConnell describes her first experience at an Arts House hosted event.
“I was still an underclassman when I went with one of the seniors to the Arts House “Jams and Java Night.” I instantly fell in love with the environment. I thought I could thrive at BW among this particular creative community. I decided not long after this experience that I wanted to pursue my own work and change my major to Studio Art.”
This year, the Arts House residents consist of Damon Condon, Digital Media and Design, Nick Baldasare, Theater, Grace McConnell, Studio Art, Nicole Campeotto, Creative Writing/Poetry, Luke Brett, Theater, and Alli St. John, Spanish.
“BW offers so many majors and a number of students make up a strong part of our creative community,” McConnell said.
The “Jams and Java” event consists of the incorporation of different types of arts, both visual and theaterical, such as the “Faces of Radio” improv group, who have attended the coffee house event in the past to do different improv games for the audience.
“‘Jams and Java’ is a night of entertainment, a chance to socialize and unite. It is great for freshmen, and a safe space where people can come relax and not feel too overwhelmed,” McConnell said.
There are regulars that attend the events, however, there are a variety of others that come to experience the coffee house events.
“Our goal is to serve as an advocate for various forms of art in the student community,” McConnell said. “It is an opportunity for people who produce artwork to share it with everyone. Singing, a monologue, theater performance, or slam poetry, we are open to anything.”
The different events that the Arts House hosts throughout the year consist of an October event of scary movies, the monthly “Jams and Java” events, and Diva Night.
“It is our spring event and is basically a drag show when people can sign up to perform acts in drag, and feel free to be as creative as possible while enjoying good company, food and drinks,” McConnell said.
“In the past, people came to the event, which was being held in the Student Activities Center, while dressed in drag.”
The Arts House offers the opportunity to be involved and to develop an appreciation for a creative environment.
“We strive to bring together the community through the arts. The Arts House serves as a place where people can feel comfortable to make connections through the arts.”